‘Fill the Void’ A movie directed by Rama Burshtein

[Hat tip Moshe]


Rama Burshtein’s new film, “Fill the Void,” takes place in a setting that will be unfamiliar to most viewers: the confined world of the ultra-Orthodox in Israel. In this sphere, gender roles are strictly defined and every aspect of life, from the spiritual to the mundane, is governed by a complex array of laws and customs designed to emphasize the perceived needs of the community over individual desires.

Marriages are arranged. Social interaction between men and women is limited and regulated. Fathers are the authority figures in families, and the rabbi is the authority figure in the community. And yet, under Ms. Burshtein’s direction, “Fill the Void,” which opens on May 24, is a love story in which an 18-year-old girl is largely able to determine her destiny.

That such a film, Ms. Burshtein’s first feature, was made by a female Orthodox director is evidence of the growing maturity of Israeli cinema.

“Not for a moment is she trying to be someone else,” Isaac Zablocki, director of the Israel Film Center at the JCC Manhattan, an Upper West Side community center, said of Ms. Burshtein. “It’s a sign that Israeli culture is coming into its own. Filmmakers like Rama Burshtein are confident enough to tell a story from within and know it will have an audience. For Israelis to understand their own experiences — this is a revolution in Israeli cinema.”

Ms. Burshtein, who is 45, hardly comes across as a revolutionary; on the contrary, at least by outward appearance, she could easily pass as a character in her own film. Following the custom among married women in devoutly religious Jewish communities, she covers her hair, a coiled scarf framing her round face and concealing every strand. She wears long sleeves, and with her soft voice and frequent small smiles, her manner is a study in modesty.

See more here.

Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

8 thoughts on “‘Fill the Void’ A movie directed by Rama Burshtein”

  1. the stereotypical views are slowly becoming less relevant, people even in the strictest segments of the so called ultra orthodox communities are making up their own minds.
    Maybe the secular Israelis will one day break their own self imposed modes of behavior.
    Yossi Lapid is so stereotypical of the bourgeois upper middle class Tel Aviv resident that nearly all of his pronouncements seem scripted and banal.
    There is no black and white in life only shades of grey.


  2. This film was reviewed last week in the family first segment of Mishpacha Magazine some of it is available online. However most intelligent frum people would not waste their time watching such puerile nonsense .


  3. Making so-called frum movies is now a growing niche business. People are still going mad over the movie “Ushpizin” and fill the void here is the next mindless cab on the rank. Perhaps these types of movies appeal to chilonim or assimilated American yiden or curious non- jews.


    1. Mark, no offence but I really dislike the word chilonim. It almost institutionalises and thereby condemns to quasi purgatory those who for various reasons are not yet frum. Goy Echad Ba’aretz, with an intertwined Goral. When I interact with people like that I see it as MY chisaron: truly.


  4. Don’t worry, there would be plenty of Dati Leumi lining up at Israeli theatres to watch fill the void too. Not to mention many chareidim who will secretly watch the movie on DVD in the privacy of their own homes. It seems bittel zman is everywhere these days


    1. But Bitul Zman can also be abused. Especially in our constantly interrupted world, an hour or two of ‘down time’ is helpful for simple mental health/stress avoidance. Might also aid in Shalom Bayis! Even Rav Hutner and others went to the Opera. Most of us can’t be the Lubavitcher Rebbe or Rav Elyashiv with their superhuman powers of concentration and alertness and hasmoda. If we aspire to be what we cannot be, that in of itself can be harmful … and I don’t poo poo Rabbi Twersky’s emphasis on self esteem, like others of late.


  5. Rav Hutner at the opera!!! I hope it wasn’t a Richard Wagner production. You should read up on what the Munkaczer has to say on going to sporting games and the like, if the Minchos Elazar was here he would tell us that the only good thing to do at the opera is to fall asleep.


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